Erica and Reid met in the Fall of 2019 while Reid was stationed at the Coast Guard base in Philadelphia and Erica was finishing her final year at Rutgers law. Reid’s time in Philadelphia was temporary, having joined the Coast Guard with hopes of eventually being stationed somewhere tropical. Guam was at the top of his list. In contrast, Erica was born, raised, and educated all within the confines of the South Jersey/Greater Philadelphia region. She had no intentions of leaving anytime soon. Despite this knawing reality, it wasn’t long before they began spending all their time together. By January 2020, they were in a relationship. One year later, it was put to the test when Reid received the dreadful news that his time in Philadelphia had expired. After spending over 300 consecutive days together, Reid was off to Yorktown for 10 weeks, the military’s Covid restrictions didn’t allow them to see each other, and neither knew where he would be headed next. Then came the day he received the list of 17 places he could be stationed. He was asked to rank them by priority. Philadelphia was not on the list. Without even conferring with Erica, Reid ordered his entire list based on proximity to Philly. He put New York first, Pittsburgh second, West Virginia third. He put Guam last. Unsurprisingly, Reid ranked West Virginia higher than everyone else. When he called Erica to break the news, she instantly became nauseous. But Reid, full of hope, laid out their options: "(1) the least realistic, I break my contract and stay in Philly. They knew that wasn't happening; (2) we do the long distance thing, spend our weekends on the road, talk all the time. It will suck, but I know we can do it; or (3) what I really hope you choose, you come to West Virginia with me. Figure out the bar and a job, and I will take care of everything else. I know it will be hard, but I think if you trust me and we try, we could be really, really happy." And with that, Erica knew she was moving to West Virginia with her future husband, the very same day that Reid learned he was being stationed there. Erica, a jersey girl, and Reid, a virginia native, met during a transitory period in their lives, when they both felt a little lost and unsure of what the future held. What could have been two ships passing in the night… three cats and four homes later, they’re ready to say I do.